khaner | Posted: 29 Apr 2016 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Bell blasts Pacific in doubleheader sweep

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STOCKTON, Calif. –Lauren Bell’s five RBI over two games, including a game-winning home run, led BYU softball to 5-3 and 5-4 wins over Pacific in a doubleheader on Friday.

"Those were two great wins today," BYU head coach Gordon Eakin said. "It was an excellent team effort. The three-run home run by Bell in the seventh is certainly one of the biggest hits of the season. It was big time."

BYU (29-17, 6-2 West Coast Conference) improves its winning streak to seven games in a row and 11-1 against the Tigers all-time after the doubleheader. Pacific is now 19-24, 2-9 in WCC play.

Junior shortstop Bell had two RBI in the first game and three in the second. Her three-run homer in the seventh inning of the nightcap won the game for the Cougars. McKenna Bull led the pitching effort, throwing eight total strikeouts with just one walk. She increased her record to 22-11 and earned her third save of the season.

Game 1

BYU scored in five of the seven innings to win the first game 5-3 with nine hits and two errors, out-hitting Pacific's six hits. Bull threw seven strikeouts with just one walk. Lauren Bell led the effort at the plate with two RBI, one hit and one run.

The Cougars got off to a strong start in the first inning after Bell and Ashley Thompson advanced Gordy Bravo to third base. A wild pitch from the Tigers gave Bravo a chance to run home for an early 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, Pacific tied up the game 1-1. A single put a runner on base and two BYU throwing errors allowed the Tiger runner to reach home plate after the next hit.

A double from Bell in the top of the third put her in scoring position. After Thompson advanced Bell to third, Libby Sugg hit an RBI single to put the Cougars back on top 2-1 after Bell scored. Two strikeouts in the bottom half held Pacific at bay, going three up, three down.

Two singles and a walk loaded up the bases in the top of the fourth with just one out. Bell’s sacrifice fly gave Caitlyn Larsen time to run in, extending the lead to 3-1. However, another fly out ended the inning for the Cougars with two left on base. A two-run homer from Pacific’s Rachel Sellers tied the game up 3-3 after four innings.

Alexa Strid responded in the top of the fifth with a solo home run over right field to take back the 4-3 advantage. This was her fourth home run of the season.

BYU pushed the lead to 5-3 after Lexi Tarrow scored off Bell’s fly ball that dropped in front of the Pacific outfielder. Tarrow reached base on a double to right center, advancing to third after a passed ball. With the Tigers up to bat, a great catch by Alexa Strid at the wall in right field robbed a huge hit. Bull capped off the inning with her seventh strikeout.

Pacific avoided another bases-loaded situation in the top of the seventh as BYU was unable to advance a runner home after a ground out and a fly ball. However, the Cougars would close out the game with two pop outs and a line-drive snap catch by Bull to seal the 5-3 win.

BOX SCORE: BYU vs. Pacific Game One

Game 2

Behind for six innings, the Cougars completed a comeback in the top of the seventh of the second game to win 5-4 over the Tigers. Bell had three RBI on a home run in the seventh inning to take the lead.

BYU got off to a rocky start, its first three batters retired in order in the top of the first. Pacific's Nicole Zapotoczny hit a three-run bomb over left center to take a 3-0 lead, but the Cougars escaped the inning after Arianna Paulson came in to pitch.

The Tigers brought in another run in the bottom of the second on an RBI single. Olivia Sanchez came into the circle with the bases loaded and one out, earning a couple of outs to get out of the inning down 4-0.

After the Cougars were retired in order in consecutive innings, the defense was able to get something going, taking down the Tigers first three batters in the third. Two of the three outs were unassisted putouts from Thompson.

In the top of the fourth, Bravo ended Marissa Young’s no-hitter on a single. She reached third base but was unable to make it home.

To get BYU on the board, Thompson drilled a two-run homer in the top of the sixth that cut into Pacific’s lead, 4-2. The bomb over centerfield was her 10th home run of the season.

In the bottom of the seventh, it was rally time for the Cougars. With runners on second and third and two outs, Bell hit her second home run of the season off the scoreboard to give BYU a 5-4 lead. Bull came back in the bottom of the seventh to strike out two and earn the save, completing the comeback.

BOX SCORE: BYU vs. Pacific Game Two

The two teams will play the final game of the series on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. PST. Live streaming and live stats will be available on the BYU schedule page.

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